Stephanotis – Symbol Of Marital Happiness

Stephanotis (also known as Madagascar jasmine) is usually associated with bridal bouquets, but it can also be grown as a free-flowering house plant. The word “stephanotis” comes originally from two Greek words, ‘stephanos’, meaning ‘crown’. In the language of flowers, stephanotis signifies ‘marital bliss’.

Stephanotis grows as a tropical evergreen vine that bears white flowers. It can be grown inside if certain conditions are met. It is a beautiful but difficult plant – it hates sudden changes in temperature, needs constant cool conditions in winter and is attractive to scale and mealy bug. For best flowering, it should be kept free of drafts in a location that remains at about 70 °F during the day and about 55 °F at night.

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Relatively high humidity – between 40 and 80% is ideal, as is bright light and well-drained potting mix. Like many potted tropicals, stephanotis needs frequent feeding, with all-purpose plant food diluted to half strength and administered about once a month. Keep compost moist at all time and water sparingly in winter.

The stems of stephanotis can reach 10 ft or more, but is usually sold twined around a wire hoop. The heavily-scented waxy flowers appear in summer. However, while it flowers abundantly outdoors in summer, it does not flower as well when grown indoors as a houseplant. Stephanotis needs brightly lit spot, away from direct sun. In the summer, take stem cuttings. Use a rooting hormone and provide bottom heat.

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